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Positive, Proactive – Let’s Go Shopping!

7 Sep

I am becoming more and more sensitive to the media and the types of information that are sent out to people in our communities and country.

It makes me re-think what I watch, what I listen to, and how I process information.  When it comes to what I do every day, it is reminding me that I, myself, am empowered and can make my own choices to live a lifestyle that is FREE and that creates positive feelings and results.

Coming back from an event this weekend – the Chile Chili Festival at Rock Ledge Ranch, which our company That’s Natural! puts on – I am reminded of the power of doing something positive and proactive.

Each of us works in order to be able to pay our bills, create our lifestyle, and hopefully have a little bit of disposable income left over to do something fun – like purchase roasted green chile or other neat products that are available during this season of harvest.  When we purchase products from local vendors, we support their llivelihood and lifestyle – and when there are taxes that are collected on these items – we support public services and public goods.

Commerce is an awesome way to create community, it is also a great way to do good things for our environment, and help local non-profits like the Living History Association (LHA), which our event benefited last Saturday.  It is a positive and proactive way to participate in doing great things.

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Does “Green” Mean Not Buying Anything?

24 Nov

– By Tisha Casida, Originally Posted at That’s Natural!

From a naturalist who also is a full-throttle supporter of capitalism, this recent post in the Examiner really irked me.

Via AdBusters, a promotion/social activism concept called “Buy Nothing Day”, goes something like:

“Think of it as an adventure, as therapy – a week of pieing and pranks, of talking back at your profs and speaking truth to power. Some of us will put up posters in our schools and neighborhoods and just break our daily routines for a week. Others will chant, spark mayhem in big box stores and provoke mass cognitive dissonance. Others still will engage in the most visceral kind of civil disobedience. And on November 26 from sunrise to sunset we will abstain en masse – not only from holiday shopping, but from all the temptations of our five-planet lifestyles.”

Sure, I get it.  You don’t want to be like the millions of people that wake up early and spend tons of money on worthless crap that will soon fill landfills.  I totally understand some of the concepts behind the anger and the activism.

The problem is, that if one doesn’t BUY anything (and that includes gifts for loved ones), then the economy takes a tank.  And, since the United States is very dependent upon services that are selling these goods, well, you are actually really hurting a lot of people.

Of course, there are many solutions to this, and some of these are even named in the article:

“Make your own.  Buy used.  Shop at Etsy.  Buy fair trade.  Barter.  Keep your wits and have a financial conscience.”

Just FYI to the author: by making your own gifts you will have to buy components unless you are God and create matter – buying used is still BUYING (and good for the economy, even better if you are buying ‘recycled’ and avoiding sales tax by purchasing at yard sales (did I just say that?)); Shopping at Etsy is still buying goods; Buying fair trade is still a form of purchasing something; Bartering is great and works, but somewhere that has to start with a product and at this point in human civilization requires some initial purchase (again, unless you are God); And “keeping your wits and having a financial conscience” is really the best solution and nulls the entire concept of “Buy Nothing Day”.

THINK about what you are doing with your dollar, but PLEASE don’t avoid shopping altogether.  Buy from someone you know, a local shopkeeper, an American company, a business that supports fair-trade, a business that promotes hand-made goods.  But, please, BUY – buy and help our fragile economy.  Don’t be stupid and continue the vicious cycle and please for God’s sake DO NOT call this being “green”.

I, American – An analogy and tribute to “I, Pencil” by Leonard E. Read

4 Aug

By: Tisha Casida

I am an American – a human being residing in the United States of America, a citizen who has come here or who resides in this country.

Liberty is both my vocation and my avocation – it is what I am.

You may wonder why it is necessary to express the purpose of explaining what I am.  I am a mystery, and sadly I have been taken for granted as a mere incident and without background.

“This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, the wise G. K. Chesterton observed, ‘We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders’.” (Read, 1999).

I, American, as simple as I may seem, do in fact warrant your wonder, for if you can understand me better, if you can be more aware of what I am, then it can help save the freedom that mankind could so easily lose.

Simple? Yet no one knows exactly how to make me.  I am but a human, a citizen, a member of a community and country, and yet there are innumerable antecedents to what I am.

It is impossible to explain all of the antecedents that made me, however it is possible to name just a few.

My family tree begins on every continent in every country through most every part of the world.  From deserts to the tropics, the mountains to the oceans, the world was the starting point for me.  Think of all the people involved in the innumerable journeys through good times and bad to get me to where I sit today.  Think of the man-power, the machinery, the technology, the will-power to get me here today.  Think of the millions of transactions amongst people, the billions of words, the countless moments of inquiry and faith that made it possible to be in this moment.

Starting in far-away places, my ancestors made choices to seek freedom and prosperity.  In making a choice to come here, the American dream was alive and loved.  It was not just a dream; it was the reality of the journey, the faith, the motion.  My ancestors came to America to work and keep what they worked for, in a place where liberty was alive and responsibility was respected and honored.

Consider the people who have come to America.  White, black, brown; European, African, Asian, Hispanic; people who do not cling to color nor to class nor to ethnicity. For once you are here, you are American – this is the melting pot, and we are all the same, we are all Americans.  People who have come here as people, people who have come here knowing and believing that we are endowed by a Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  The journey has not always been pleasant or good.  The creation of America held many tragic incidents involving the very people that She now desires to protect.  That is the road and the journey that exists, and I must move forward in an effort to do better, as an individual, as an American.  We can learn from our mistakes.

Consider the technology that has moved us here.  Inventions, the revolution in industry, and the revolution with communication – all of these over thousands of years have contributed to my journey.  Although my life cycle is short, the experiences I have are created on the shoulders of giants (Newton, 1676).  Piece by piece, moment by moment, I am standing here today because of these human discoveries, theories, interventions, and practices.

Consider the human desire that has moved us here.  Human beings from around the world, people who work hard, study, love, and crave the freedom that allows them to do those things.  Consider the faith – regardless of religion or origin – consider the faith of the people who want to move forward, want to protect what they love, want to be free in their just pursuit of happiness.

No one knows how to make an American, even though the 307+ million Americans have a part of shaping each other every day.  “There isn’t a single person in all these millions… who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how.” (Read, 1999).  Each day a citizen may decide to read a newspaper, watch a television show, or go to school, however the other citizens will never truly know how this affects them – we just know that it does.  None of us know what the other millions of Americans want, however we are still all able to co-exist and prosper.  None of us know exactly how this works, but we know that we are able to make transactions and decisions when we have the freedom to do so.

There is no master-mind dictating to people what they should do, what they should want, or where they should work.  For over two hundred years, the country of America has been able to grow without the master planning of its future.  There have been mistakes, and more recently attacks on Her freedom, however the 307+ millions of Americans who are a part of my country can still make informed decisions.  This “absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work.” (Read, 1999).

We cannot “make an American”.  The Invisible Hand (Adam Smith), the liberty present in our country, and the free market where we all stand equally as consumers, are a part of a complex combination of miracles.  America is where you can find me, in “the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human master-minding!” (Read, 1999).  We are free men and women, there is no greater miracle.

I, American, although made from many different races, classes, and religions, do not cling to those as testimony for how others should act or be.  I, American, although a part of a social system do not expect a social system, I take responsibility for what and who I am.  I, American, although faced with displeasure, anger, and poverty, righteousness, happiness, and prosperity, do not expect from anyone anything other than interaction in a marketplace where I can work, purchase, and sell goods and services without the intervention of a master-plan that tries to decide what is best for me.  I, American, understand what I am charged with and accept the responsibility and prosperity that accompanies such “risk”.  Having the liberty to make my decisions, is all I ask for.

I, American, in a country that has had millions of immigrants come to Her for liberty and the opportunity to pursue their dreams, believe in the creative interactions that have made our prosperity possible so far.

“The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed.”  (Read, 1999).

I, American, seemingly simple and often misunderstood, believe in the miracle of my creation. I believe in the liberty that rewards responsibility. I believe in the free men and women who are my fellow citizens.  I, American, believe.

References:

Newton, I. (1676, February 15). Letter to Robert Hooke. Retrieved  June 20, 2010 from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton.

Read, L. E. (1999). “I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read.” Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

Smith, A. (1776). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Edwin Cannan, ed. 1904. Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html

This post was originally posted at The Good American Post HERE.

Downsizing the Federal Government

24 Jun

Do you ever wonder if there are actually solutions to the mess we are in?

We hear a whole lot about the PROBLEM – but what about things we can actually DO?  I think we can all agree that our time would be better spent on positive and productive solutions versus complaining, hate speech, and rhetoric.

So, OF COURSE there are solutions.  This blog – Downsizingthefederalgovernment, as well as the book, Downsizing the Federal Government by Chris Edwards (available on our website for purchase; please purchase there if you so desire as it keeps the lights on), offer a “department by department guide to cutting the federal government”.

The TRUTH is that we can solve a whole lot of our budget problems by eliminating waste and inefficiences.  AND if we have more money in the bank, we can do more productive things in our economy.

Don’t be fooled – there are things we can do RIGHT NOW.  All it takes is a group of concerned citizens willing to stand up and speak up.

– Tisha Casida

This post appeared originally at The Good American Post

Right, Left, Red, Blue, Middle, Green – UNITE!

4 May

“Where are the Greenies?” said a friend who owns property and has been vocal about the intrusion of the heavy hand of government in Colorado land law.

The reinstatement of the “Death Tax” in Colorado will have negative implications for land owners who want to leave their land to their children.  If HR 3524 (Colorado House) does not get passed, the Death Tax will come back in 2011 with even sharper provisions.

Positions of various government representatives seem to favor land-owners, that is, until you look at their voting records.  Politics is in full force at all levels of government – this includes state and local representatives as well.

Aside from the bureaucracy that so many of us are sick and tired of, another more positive and productive statement must be made.  That is, this particular issue, could really unite some facets of ideologies.

For example, land owners want to protect their land (via not being taxed at their death).  By farmers and ranchers wanting to protect their land and NOT sell out to developers, this is in fact preserving the land/environment/eco-system which can be decimated by urban sprawl and unsustainable development.

Farmers and ranchers want to protect land and wildlife because it is important to them and their children.  Environmentalists, and “greenies” if you will, want to protect land and wildlife because it is important to them and their children.

In addition to this, hunters and fishers want to protect land and wildlife because it is important to their sport.  People that are so often shoved into the category of “tree huggers” want the same thing.

So where are we?  Where are the Americans here?  We want the same thing – let’s take a harder look at the bureaucracy and red tape that is in place to “help” the heavy hand of government and see how we may be able to eliminate some of the negative consequences that hurt ALL OF US.

Whether you are conservative or liberal on land issues – this is one area where we should be fighting together.  The death tax, and any taxes that make it impossible to preserve land, wildlife, and eco-systems should be eliminated – we will all benefit and protect the very environments that we call home.

– Tisha Casida

Knowledge Vs. Presumptions

11 Apr

Reading through Thomas Sowell’s book, Basic Economics, it is easy to see that letting the market work is essential to having a sustainable and productive economy.

The reason “the market” works so well is that there are millions of people with specialized knowledge making decision about what to buy and what to sell.  These people – the 300+million consumers in the United States of America – each have their own individualized knowledge that helps them to make decisions

Knowledge, in itself, is a scarce resource.

When government officials start making decisions that affect the market, they are doing this based on PRESUMPTIONS.  Presumptions about what is best ARE NOT the same as specialized knowledge coming from the market, of the 300+ million people that make up our economy.

Presumptions are what get people in trouble – it is KNOWLEDGE that we need.  And thus, less government intervention, red tape, and bureaucracy in our free market would allow for more efficient and more specialized decisions from WE THE PEOPLE.  That’s the whole idea of a FREE MARKET!

-Tisha Casida